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Turning 30, I feel that the milestone is really for my parents. This year is also the year that I will move out of my home, and into a new one with Alvin. This is probably the biggest thing for me rather then turning 30, I would say is to move away from my parents and the room and house I call home for 30 years. My first thought was not about me but the people around me, this 30th. Mainly my parents, and my friends, specially my best friend, Alvin. Say not that much of alvin but he has shaped alot of how I am in the later parts of my years. Come to think of it at the end of this year is also the 10th year of us being together as a couple,  we celebrated with our wedding with a bang, I am satisfied with it and I always hug him to show that I appreciate him heh. But for most part of my life, my parents and my best friend were the ones that was there, walking the journey with me. For that, I am so thankful and grateful that God has kept us together, kept these people close to me, and for giving me a whole family. Something as simple as having a whole family is one that I never thought much about until now, where we don’t think much of but is a luxury and something impossible for some kids, to have and live with both their parents.

I hope that my parents see my 30th as their milestone, bringing a human being up, from the time I was a problematic baby and not a very healthy one at that. I think they did quite a pretty good job with me, raising me up, with values and morals. I say that they never discounted anything in my life, gave me all that I needed and even wanted. The hardest part is probably letting go of me, and letting me do my own stuff even though I still stay under their roof. Now that I am married, most part of my schedule and time revolves around Alvin and my business, we do most things together.

One big reason for me taking the leap into business, although everything was very uncertain was my parents support. Both of them say yes I should try and not once they ever discouraged me or told me that I was being silly, or asked me to go look for a job. I know, in the end even if it failed or I go broke, I still live in their house and eat their food. The other was Alvin of course, one who would have to feed me when we move out. Sometimes these people have more faith in what I am, and what I can do then myself. We all need these people in our lives.

For my friends, those who been through with me, know my quirks, accept me for who i am. And mel who’s been there all along, ups and downs in my life. Good thing we both are decent people and not havoc. I guess for that both our parents should thank each other that they raised us up well, and we found each other. We used to change best friends in Primary school, but little did I know is when two people have some sort of chemistry and find each other funny or interesting. I guess this is much like a relationship except its a friendship. there is no need for labels like BFF and what not to prove to the world or show off, but just something very simple as being present in one’s life. We have grown to the point where we dislike each other’s taste, but some things we can agree on. Mostly now, we agree to disagree which i think is the highest form of friendship. Now, we have known each other more then half our lives right? And i hope we will be still close even at 50, or 60.

Unlike others, I don’t have a bucket list or a list of things I want to do before 30. But it seems that I have done most of the things that people put as bucket list. I got married to Alvin, I travel to placed wherever I wanted, I started a business, I have good friends that stick by me. Health wise has been up and down, last year and this year mostly better. I found that as years go by, things actually get better although we tend to over think and over worry about the future. Perhaps as I get older, I find that if you want it you can go get it. But sometimes some things are not meant for you or not good for you. And life, it is hard to know or predict the future but whatever comes, if its opportunity, go for it. If it’s something you don’t like, leave it. I guess the best things I did was, One to date Alvin. Two to start my business. I hope in my 30s, there would be more of these best things I did and when I look back, I will not have regrets or what ifs.

Thank you Everyone who has been part of this 30 year journey.

There are some things I learnt nearing to 30, and also want to take it with me down the 30 road.

  • Not everything turns out the way you want it to be but thats ok, in the end everything that is good comes through and you will be happy with what you have
  • Patience, Time, things take a long time to flourish, in personal growth, in business
  • Friends come and go, a few who will always be by your side. Let go those who go
  • I struggled with this for long, wanting to look like others and be like them, better, more well to do, and wanting to be where they were. Everyone has their own path, so do i. I stopped looking at others and concentrating on myself
  • Creating the life that I want to live – this is the hardest part and the most challenging part that will always be on going. It is easy to follow the crowd, to do what others do. To break out in thoughts and in action so that I can be living the life I like
  • Go to church regularly because we all need fresh revelations and a touch of Jesus
  • Do Quiet time, because we can get caught up with work and things and our soul gets sucked dry
  • Celebrate occasions, because those are the times we remember the best
  • Explore, Unlearn, redefine, relearn – Always taking that step to learn things I don’t know, not being afraid to try, not being intimidated by foreign subjects and experience. This is something I am easing into right now
  • Take charge of your life, in terms of changing what you want, being better in things, go for courses for your career, no one will be more vested in you then yourself
  • Find the right kind of love, and the right kind of man who will give you that
  • Don’t do things or go to places you don’t enjoy, you can always use that time to do something you like
  • Trial and Error, nothing works fine the first time and it is ok to be wrong.
  • Assumptions can be wrong, but there’s always time to make new ones. I thought I liked something, or something was good. Turned out it was not too good.

 

To sum up, I am quite excited to see whats in store down the road here. And I think 30 onwards will be the best years of my life. Like how someone wished me “Happy birthday. 30 good, wah. I think 30-35 is a good age to be in, you are not too young and naïve, and not too old and senile.” Thank you, I think that is wonderful to know. Hehe. In my heart and mind, I am always still 24.

 

 

 

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I met up with Shu Ling that day, she always tells me stuff that makes me think and help to straighten up jumbled thoughts in structured order. I took away some stuff she shared and told me. One of which was how to decide easier. I asked her how does she do it? She chose between a good paying job and a job which interest her more but paid a lot less. (more then 20% less). How do you decide? I asked her, because I m also always stricken by what is practical and what makes sense vs. what I feel.

she shared with me that the good paying job would have been what she wanted 2 years ago, but not anymore. It would be something she would be working hard towards to actually get that sort of job. she grown out of the job or what she use to want. & now she would like to do something related to society and give back to society or for social good. So any decisions she make for jobs would go back to that as a basis which will make it easier for her to make decisions.

For life, she said that she would do things to meet the belief of her being happier this year then last, and better then the last. So anything she does goes back to this.

I thought it would be applicable to me to know what is my life philosophy, what I deem impt generally so it would be easy for me to decide on things – business, life, etc. It would be a much more efficient way then to keep rethinking on decisions. So this two weeks I have been pondering on it. I feel that it would also help me shape what I want my life to be and how I would live my life in the next 5 years.

This is in lieu of me turning 30. A number isn’t a big deal but being intentional is what I want to be. Not just float through the years like the first 3 years after graduating not knowing what I like, what I want, what I need to pursue.

In Business, Life, Relationships, Personal Growth, Giving back to society.

I did share with her that I might then seem rather superficial because what I want is only to be comfortable and that largely will come from being financially well to do. I feel generally everything I do, is to be comfortable in living my life. I would love to advice pp – I.e giving back to Society but I feel that I’m not quite ready and apt for it right now because I have not reached a certain level of “success”.

She told me that everyone has different wants and different things that will satisfy them, If it is what I want or think what I want, by all means go all the way and do whatever I can and everything I can to reach there, and then see if it’s really what satisfies and makes me fulfilled/ feel achieved. And no one can say it’s wrong or bad, because it’s very individual.

and if I can’t decide or pinpoint yet how I want to do things – all the above, then try the “world’s way” means everyone elses ways and see if I am comfortable with it, eventually I will come to form my own opinion and own way to do things (live my life, business etc.) that I find resonates / peaceful with myself.

Does everyone have a life philosophy as well?

Some of my friends have – be kind to others whenever they can. Some are travel as much as they can. (one wanted to travel to 50 countries or cities Before 30, and he’s done it) Some just worry as much as they can- just kidding! Some wants to date as much as they can (haha) maybe not anymore as we are at the age of wanting to just concentrate on one partner. Some are having family – many kids. Some are to make a difference in the world.

The point of this post is also that I want to be intentional in living my life. I think I have been rather this year, and i know that my life will be more intentional next year if I plan for it to do and achieve what I want. Life passes too fast, there’s no number (age) of doing something but this quote striked me because it reinforces that life is precious and you can live it wild (not sleep around) but beyond your imagination and fears.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.
– MARY OLIVER

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I’m back here, to update what I been up to for… the last 10 days! Alvin and i took a trip to Korea – Seoul & Jeju. Jeju really surprised me because I really liked Jeju. Although I was feeling super tired and sick during the days in Jeju, I felt like it was such a serene place with lots of land and greens and sea. And i actually enjoyed the sightseeing – HA HA HA. NEW FOR ME RIGHT?

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I am the omg i don’t want to walk type of person, but recent 1 year I think I have changed a little. After doing Dragon back Trail in HK, I felt like I start to enjoy scenery and hiking related more. It tend to tell me that even though the journey is long and far, during the journey it teaches me how to be patient and take one step at a time, and the end result – the view is worth it. But i really appreciate and learn more of the journey itself,i  feel like it shapes my character in a weird way, and i relate that back to me and my business.

So we took a nearly 10 day trip to Korea. 3 days spent in Jeju which was not enough for me. I actually on the impulse asked the host if she had space for 1 more night for us because i really loved her place – it looked out to the sea. but she was really full, so we just went back to Seoul as planned. I would recommend anyone who is going to Jeju to stay at her place, she provides korean breakfast and she speaks english. Its hard to communicate in Korea if they don’t know english and chinese. All the circles and the squares make my head fuzzy too.

Let me ramble on before I start on the Korea stuff proper maybe on the next post. So this trip, is something both of us really needed. Our last trip was August 2015, alvin been working hard at his job and he’s also achieved completion of his ACTA – Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment. He studied part time at night classes for around 6 months before completing it in June. And also, he has decided to embark on his Masters that will start in August, so it was a good break for him :’)

For me, I been stressed over my business, wondering what next and how do I do certain things better. Also, what is important for me in the business and as a person – this will affect how I treat and grow my business; sort of like my values. I remember my previous work place manager, he always told me that if one’s mission is to earn 1mil bucks, 2 mil bucks, then you will be lost after achieving it. It should be more like, how meaningful your job/what you are doing, does it help the society, do you give back? I struggled abit also because a retail business is based on “wants” and not “needs”. I think “needs” are like food business like hawkers, fruit sellers, econ mini-mart where they sell bread and stuff. Things you need to live. I honestly got lost somewhere and just sit back and wondered what value am i providing to people? Why are they buying from me? Why I am selling stuff to them? As well as got caught up thinking of growing the expanding the business, and was afraid that it would just be all about numbers/money.

This trip – Jeju especially opened my eyes and heart about a few things. A general gist was that, we stayed in Airbnb studio owned by Isabel (The host) and her husband. We hired a taxi driver Mr Lee who was in the hotel industry before he drove taxi and take tours. Both of them inspired me pretty much more then average. I always loved to chat with locals when we go to any cities (the last i enjoyed so much was chatting with Maureen, our host at San Fran) because it gave us their perspective in life, in their job, in the place they are in and the situation they have.

This is what our accoms in Jeju looked like. the seaview is REAL.
Sign up via my referral link to get SG$30 travel credits : www.airbnb.com.sg/c/stang18
Isabel house Airbnb link : https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/7331339

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What i took away was that – If you can make yourself or your service of Value, I.e. it brings value to people, your business will flourish.

Isabel was a teacher before being a host, her husband designed and built the 3 storey house and also had the foresight that people will like this place because it had a scenic sea view. I am also curious (friends would affectionately say I am kaypo) because I always wanted to know what inspire people and what led them to making the choices and decisions. The location of their house was purely coincidental. They were going nearby to view a land as they wanted to buy, and they didnt like it so much so they drove further and around. They just drove pass the current land that the house was in and there was a big rock on it. Her husband immediately said the land is good, but she couldn’t see it. Then he decided to buy it, removed the rock and built a building there. She couldn’t give two hoots , and didnt even visit the place until after it was done. She said she didn’t fancy or cared much of the process because she loved her job as a teacher. She just saw the rock and then the building, and i thought that was pretty hilarious and amazing. And other people around the neighbourhood was so worried for them and wondered why this couple person bought such a small piece of land with a rock on it! I feel that her husband has great foresight and also had in mind that travellers would like to stay in their house. He designed such that the windows faced the sea, the staircases are outside (like a flat style) not a bungalow style and the rooms are studio like.

2 points here I want to highlight is firstly, she loved her job. This is something i found in the Jeju locals that they are so proud of what they do and they put their heart into it. I have hardly ever heard anyone saying that they love their job in Sg. 2nd point was that sometimes things happen for a reason, a coincidence, just happened and its somehow God’s plan. I mean what are the odds that you chance upon a great piece of land when you were actually disappointed in the one you initially wanted to view. (I am not sure if they Christians, but she left a review on my page that included “God bless you ” so maybe they are. I read other reviews she left for other people that stayed at her place but she never did write God bless to others.) But anyway, my point, you get it.

She told me – I am not sure why people would want to stay here. i said the view is awesome and you serve breakfast and speak english. She said ohh ok, I guess the sea and breakfast right! I said yes. And this also led me to my 3rd point – that if you give something more then others, even if others may be doing the same thing as you. If you go an extra mile, just a small one, people will come to you. When I was searching for places to stay in Jeju, there was many to choose from, including sea view and even pool. I was so inclined to stay at her place because there was korean breakfast provided and her pictures looked so yummy and it felt like her hosting was very warm. And of course, it was convenient too to eat before heading out for sightseeing, thats what i thought and it proved to be a great decision and met her. I am always grateful to our airbnb hosts who are open to chat with us and share with us about their lives and their stories.

Me having korean breakfast prepared by Isabel’s helper

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And to the third point, when I was chatting with her, I asked if she knew what the other building used their rooms for. There was one or two other building just a few meters away and they could be doing airbnb as well but I am not sure. i was wondering if it was competitive to rent our the airbnb at her area because of the seaview and others did the same. She said to me simply, I don’t know and I don’t bother, I just do my own things. This taught me one thing is that, doesn’t matter what people are doing, even if they are doing well, better then you or not and if they are your competitors or not, you should just focus on what you do and do it well. It was quite a rude shock to me because I am always kaypo and curious to know what others are doing and how i can do better then them – if I am her, I would want to know if they have “better business” then me on airbnb. Then i learnt my 3rd point is – don’t look at what others are doing, just concentrate on your own thing. This called me back to the short meeting I had with Farah, a lady who on and off check how I am doing (sort of like a mentor/guide), she and another lady whom i just met told me that I will go down (fail) if i keep looking at others/other business and wanting to follow their style/ direction/what they do. So this really hit home for me.

Our taxi driver, Mr Lee had really good command of English (for a Korean). We chatted so much and he shared with us his life so much. And the best is, he knows so much about Singapore, and how things work here I almost had to ask him – did you live in Singapore?? How did you know so much about it! His customers are 90% Singaporeans based on referrals. And so I will refer anyone to him that wants to go to Jeju and need a driver. I highly recommend because Jeju is huge and public transport/bus are not very frequent. The travel from one place to another is 20mins – 1 hour.

Here’s our very kind and friendly taxi driver, Mr Lee Hong Min. (he speaks English)
To book him Watsapp: +82 10-9396-4498 / email:

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He has been doing this for 2-3 years, his father in law owns the taxi company. But what striked me hard was that he loves what he does, he isnt “sian” of bringing us around like its just his job or  a chore. I can’t imagine how excited you have to be doing the same time day in and out for 3 years. He works 23-26 days a month. You know like how some people in Sg (customer service sector) give you a sian look when they are serving you. Mr Lee was so patient, so punctual. We said 10am, and he comes at 920. Like omg we haven’t even started our breakfast! And the best thing is, he’s not just a driver. He parks his taxi, and brings us into the sightsee, walks with us and explains to us whats the history, what happened, how it came about. He will also take pictures for us, tell us the best place to stand and also take scenery pictures while we read the sign boards and stuff. I mean, which “taxi driver” will do all that, he was literally a tour guide and even got us discount one of the sight see entrance fee. This brings me to iterate 1. people in jeju really love their job. 2. they give more value then just the service they offer

And he was always chatting, smiling and always ready to bring us here and there where we want to go. On the first day, i was so tired and i didn’t say I wanted to go back to the accoms, but he said you look really tired why don’t we go back and rest for today and continue tomorrow. At that point, we had just reached the sight see entrance and even got down the taxi. If I was the driver, I would not bother because i drove all the way here! I said ok and we headed back.

It also dawned onto me and i was quite amazed that they could make a business out of just hosting people and driving people. It looked to me that there was a need in the industry and you can always make a business out of it as long as you provide value / something that someone needs. For them, it comes out of the tourism and people need the service their provide.

So although I felt real tired and sick during Jeju trip, I liked it a whole lot more then Seoul. Maybe less people, more fresh air and the seaview from our room. Also what I took away and learnt from the short 3 Days.. helped me to see that providing VALUE in whatever I do will lead me to the right path.

Sunset in Jeju looks like this, so picturesque – i took this outside Isabel’s place.

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I always wanted to write about some entrepreneur books that are helpful to me, currently I just picked up Big Magic by the same author who wrote Eat Pray Love. I forgot if I ever read it and even if I did, I forgot the contents. I actually wrote Play instead of Pray initially (you can see what I have been thinking about) 

  
The author is Elizabeth Gilbert, and I am on just the first few chapter. It affirms that we can be creative ourselves.. and we can find things that bring us joy in doing, something which resonates with us. She wrote that we don’t have to quit our job, move across the world to do that. And also in the current chapter I am reading, she affirms that we don’t need a degree to be “legit” in the field we want to be, as long as we work at our craft everyday diligently, we are already for real. I think a lot of us feel that when we want to embark on something new, we always pull ourselves back and say but I don’t have experience or i have no degree / cert to prove. Maybe maybe just perhaps we may not even need that. 

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I guess Jack Ma is quite right, treaties made by businesses because businesses are never biased or closed minded. As long as there is “good”, needs and wants, it doesn’t matter what obstacles there is, it can always be resolved. Read Jack Ma’s Spec summit notes here : https://www.techinasia.com/best-quotes-jack-ma-apec-summit-2015-manila/

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Ever since I went full time into Just Tangy, I hardly interact much with other people because I don’t have colleagues or bosses. So the only people I really talk to, top number 1 is the courier guys, the cai fan aunties, and some shop owners/merchandisers but not often.

Yesterday one of the courier guys came to pick up parcels and he always like to chat and share random things with me. He told me he used to be in the fashion industry and also went out to open two shops selling ladies dresses / fashion before the blogshop wave hit. After which sales was very bad for him in his shops when online blogshops started so he had to close down his shops and worked in a shipyard company as he needed money to get married as well. Then after which he went into several other business, and he’s now only 33, to me that’s still pretty young.

The thought hit me that what if my husband was like that, or I was like that? He seemed rather happy but also tired from running around collecting parcels. It does seem like not such a glam job. It hit me that what would I think of myself in this situation, doing this and that but never really made a big break or staying in a stable job would give you a stable income and by 33 you be earning a good salary. But then again, I don’t think they are grads and the inertia for grads to go out there and do your own things is actually pretty daunty because you can command a higher salary and what you give up is much more then someone who did not study a lot.

A lot of times, we see the cost benefit this way, we see what we WILL potentially lose out for sure compared to what we MAYBE can get. But we don’t see it other way around. And then again, I hope that I won’t end up being like this, doing this and that but nothing really and regret compared to staying in a job when I look back in life later where I focus and be the best in working whatever I was doing. When I look back later in life, I definitely want to say that it was the best decision I made, that changed something or everything in terms of career, but I would never know.. maybe till it’s too late?

And last night Alvin & I had this convo about him taking his masters and he told me that he asked around for opinions from his seniors if it was worth it. Most of them said its good to have but they are not thinking of it personally because they already have some other accreditation, and most of them have kids and lack of time to commit to doing a masters. In the end I realized from this is that we often seek to do things only because it’s “worth it” meaning it’s the means to the end – we have to get something out of it to classify as “worth it”. I think it’s a very Singaporean thing to only do things that give you tangible benefits and if there isn’t then we don’t do it because it doesn’t make sense. If you gone ahead and do it, people may judge but that’s just because we are Singaporean. There are other intangible benefits to things we do that we often don’t know until we do it, but we end up not doing it in the end. So anyway, we agreed that whether or not its “worth it” he should take it if the opportunity rises next year and I definitely think it’s a great thing for him as well. There isn’t a need to get something back but it sure would open eyes to something more and new.

My point is, if you want to do something, even though it has no value on the surface what so ever, I think it’s still okay to do it. You never know what comes out of it, it could be even someone you met that give you your next job. It could be the people you meet, the things you learn, personal growth is something we cannot put a value or tangible-ness to it. I am hoping as I learn and grow to be more open minded, I won’t have the Singaporean too safe and too scared mentality and I would be able to live life to the fullest.

For awhile now I thought I was being kind of lame to have taken French the first level and then not follow through with the second, why take in the first place? Then I realized that it is perfectly fine to have some self growth and personal learning, not everything has to end up with something I am very good in. It is just one of those things that I wanted to do at that point and i am happy to say that I know a little French. I stopped “beating” myself over it. More recently, I found that others were doing the same, Vivien shared with me that she was going to take up a short app development course when she’s back in UK this month, just to know and learn something new. There’s no outright tangible benefits since she’s not going to do be a developer and do coding business, but it dawned to me that it could just be in us to just want to learn and know more things. The “jack of all trades and master to none” is no longer very relevant today for our generation. Plus things like that are not cheap.

Honestly, sometimes it’s not easy to think horizontally /  laterally because we have been ingrained by our education and conformed into society to be a certain way and tick certain check boxes, if not we will be judged. I spent a good amount of time moving away from what I think I should be based on comparison to my peers etc, and hopefully I am threading on the path I want to be on, or at least the right one to end up on..

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I met one of my ex colleagues after quite a long time yesterday. One thing I took with me since a couple of years before, is that workplaces and people there never changes, and i do mean never. The same crap, different day. I hardly think back but at this point I think the best decisions are always the ones you have already made, and if you forget, you know who you remind you – your ex colleagues. (keke)

The other thing was about unexpected opportunities. Having 12 more years of life then me, and being someone who would have some risks when younger, he said it being unexpected is exactly why you need to take it, grab it, because its interesting and you don’t know where you would end up. Generally Singaporeans are pretty much safe and wanting something expected, and they only do things when they know what is the end goal. Then our world becomes so small, and our life so predictable.

I am starting to realize the magnitude of the “journey”, and enjoying it.

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